Subject: Christine Donaldson Filmers: Abe Kislevitz Location: San Francisco, CA Music: Christine Donaldson - "Love Me Crazy"
In January Christine got together with her music buddies in LA and recorded 3 new songs to be released this winter/spring. She’s really excited about these new ones because they really capture her musical style and taste more than anything previously released. She wrote all the music and lyrics a while ago. I’ve seen this one live in-concert and I think the recording she put together really captures the essence of the song. Believe me when I say you’ll be humming this tune when you come away from the song/video.
We dedicated President’s weekend in San Francisco to film the video and put together the edit fairly quickly this time around. We found the flower field in Half Moon Bay and spent an afternoon filming there – did a few hours up in the redwood forests on Skyline south of the 92, and did the urban setting up at the headlands above the Golden Gate Bridge. I had Christine helping on the cutting front going through all of the raw footage and picking out the moments of B-Roll that could be used in the video. I even had her sit down for 2 days and try out editing for the first time to get a feel for it and give me a good starting point for the video.
On the filming front I had a really great experience using my Canon 70-200 II for video for the first time. I’m always blown away at how sharp that lens is and the incredible depth of field it can capture. I ended up using that lens with a tripod or handheld for about 85% of the video. I also used my Canon 16-35 for the flower shots above. Those were done with the camera on a long monopod and a step ladder. I just jabbed that thing into my stomach on the top of the step ladder and tried to make smooth movements – which was really tough! Luckily my small jittery movements were masked by warp stabilizer on a few of those shots. I filmed about 70% of the shots in 1080-24 and the rest at 720-60. This was also pretty much my first time using my 5D Mark III for video. I was really happy with the cleanliness of the footage compared to the 5d Mark II or the 7D. 720-60 still has a bit of aliasing but it’s way better than the 7D. I’ve heard a lot of complaints about the 5D not being sharp enough in video but for this project it was fine. I loved the filmy look of it all (if you couldn’t tell by the intro). I used a GoPro for the car shots (forest & ocean).
I used Premiere Pro CS6 again on the editing simply because that program flies with native DSLR footage on my retina MBP. So glad to have native CS6 for retina finally! Once the editing was done I exported a ProRes 422 version and loaded it into Resolve to do a quick color pass. I couldn’t figure out the Premiere EDL roundtrip workflow for Resolve so I just used auto scene detection with the ProRes and called it good. Minimal coloring was added; a few vignetting of shots and equalizing color. I brought the whole thing into After Effects and did a curves adjustment over the entire video to get a filmy look.
The intro was an idea by some coworkers (thanks Jordan!) to introduce the setting before the song comes in. Christine wrote out the little narrative and we recorded it a few nights ago – woo! I was stoked on how it came out. I did a little sound design on that whole intro bit using stock Apple sounds that come with Final Cut Studio.
This is now my 2nd DSLR video and I feel like I learned heaps between the first and this one – It’s funny that I’ve only ever really used GoPro cameras to shoot video prior to these few projects. I got into film with zero money a few years ago and couldn’t afford anything but the free GoPro cameras they sent me in 2009. I’m really excited on how this all came out and can’t wait to get out and do more! Always a rad learning experience!
If you’d like to contact Christine or grab her music check out these links:
Free Song Download: http://christinedonaldson.bandcamp.com/track/love-me-crazy